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Considering Solar? Know the Facts


Increasing interest in alternative energy sources is being fueled by decreasing costs for solar energy systems, the availability of financial incentives and the proliferation of companies offering solar panel installation services.

As interest increases, it is important for consumers to fully understand the true costs, the operational reality of this form of energy and actual energy savings. To determine if solar energy is right for you, start with these guidelines from BEC and BEC Solar. Whether or not you choose to invest in solar energy, BEC is your trusted energy partner, and we are here to make sure you get the facts.

Is Solar Energy Right for You?

Other solar panel companies have one objective: to sell their products and services. At BEC, you are our member first, and we want to work with you to determine the best solar energy options for your home.

First, BEC and BEC Solar’s experts recommend you consider the following:
  • Overall energy efficiency of the home or building.
  • Age and pitch of the roof.
  • Orientation of the sun in relation to the home or building.
  • Tree coverage near the home or building.
  • Weather patterns for the region.
  • Type of roof on your home.
You also need to weigh many financial considerations before installing a solar system:
  • Is there an upfront payment required, or is the cost
  • spread out over time?
  • Will the homeowner own the panels, or will panels be leased?
  • Are there any associated costs? For example, does the
  • roof need to be replaced before installing the panels?
  • How will your homeowner’s insurance premiums be affected if you install a solar system?
  • Are there ongoing maintenance fees?
  • Are there rebates or other financial incentives available?
  • Are the estimated energy savings worth the investment?
  • What are the utility rates on buying solar energy?
  • Is it more cost-effective to invest in other energy-saving measures?

Questions To Ask When Considering Solar Panels

You have until the end of 2019 to take advantage of a 30 percent federal tax credit for installing solar panels on the roof of your home. Here are some questions to ask before you invest in them:
  • Does your roof face south? Solar panels are most effective on south-facing roofs and least effective on north-facing roofs.
  • Is your property shady? The sun needs to hit the panels at least five hours a day, so if trees or buildings block the sun from shining on your roof, solar panels can’t do their job.
  • Is your roof big enough? The average rooftop solar system contains 20 panels to produce enough energy for meaningful energy savings. To accommodate those panels, you should have at least 500 square feet of roof.
  • How slanted is your roof? If the pitch of your roof is greater than 45 degrees, the sun might not reach one side of your house. The ideal pitch is 30 degrees.
  • What is your roof made of? Asphalt shingles and corrugated metal roofs are perfect for solar panels. Slate, tile and wood roofs are not.
  • Do you need a new roof? If so, get it before you install solar panels. It’s expensive to remove and reinstall panels.

BEC and BEC Solar recognize that consumer interest in green energy sources and renewables is at an all-time high, and we stand ready to help our members determine their best options.

To learn more about BEC Solar, visit BanderaElectric.com/Solar.

Posted: 9/1/2019 3:00:15 PM
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